MATL06018 2019 Plastics Materials Selection

General Details

Full Title
Plastics Materials Selection
Transcript Title
Plastics Materials Selection
N/A %
Subject Area
MATL - Materials
MENG - Mech. and Electronic Eng.
06 - NFQ Level 6
10 - 10 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
David Mulligan
Programme Membership
SG_EPOLY_E06 201900 Certificate in Engineering in Polymer Technologies

The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to select plastic materials for use in a given commercial application.


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Explain the nature of thermoplastic and thermoset polymer materials


Analyse polymer technical property data sheets supplied by material manufacturers


Compile a basic plastic material requirement specification for a given service application


Undertake a basic plastic materials selection based upon the compiled requirement specification


Identify commodity, engineering and high performance thermoplastic/thermosets and principal commercial uses and applications


Identify why, where and when engineering, thermoset and high performance polymers are selected instead of commodity thermoplastics for commercial applications


Apply knowledge and skills to encourage sustainable design and use applications of polymers

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Online delivery

Indicative Syllabus

The Nature of Plastics Materials, inc: influence upon design and application.


Commodity Plastics, nature, properties and use applications, materials inc:

- Polyolefines (PP, PE, HDPE, EVA & related materials) .

- Syrinic polymers, inc, PS, HIPS, SAN, ASA, ABS and block co-polymer elastomers.

- PVC based polymers, UPVC, PPVC, formulations, additives, properties and use applications.

- Acrylic (PMMA), properties and use applications.

Engineering Plastics, Definition, nature, properties and use applications, materials inc:

- Polyamides (Nylon 6, 6.6, 11, 12), introduction to fibre reinforcement.

- Polyesters (PC, PET, PETG, PBT).

- POM &PPO introduction to impact modification.

- Polysulphones (PPS & PSU).

- Polyurethanes (TPUR & PU RIM) introduction to elastomeric materials, RIM tooling, RIM applications, processing techniques and product design use requirements.

- Thermoset polymers, Definition, Nature of materials, properties, applications and use formats, polymers inc:

- Un-saturated ester thermoset resins, material nature / properties, format type explanation / format use (GMC, DMC, SMC).

- Epoxide resins (EMC / EP).

- Formaldehyde based resins, inc, UF, MF and PF, material nature / properties, use applications, processing and product design requirements.

- Introduction to Rubber , Vulcanisation, explanation of variant materials inc, NR Latex, SBR, Flouro rubber, etc. Appreciation of rubber compound design and construction.

- Overview of compression moulding and injection moulding thermoset processing techniques, inc, positive lock, semi-positive lock, transfer and flash tooling techniques. Explanation of injection moulding thermoset technology and use applications.


High Performance polymers, Definition, Nature, Properties and Applications, materials inc:

- Polyamides (PAA, PAI), introduction to polymer flow, thermal requirements, conditioning.

- LCP materials.

- PEEK materials.

- High performance injection mould tool construction, inc: steels, loading, bolster plate deflection, feeding, heating and control.

- High performance injection moulding machine, inc: screw design, thermal control, force requirement, etc.

- PTFE based materials and technology, material types / properties, powder sinter technology, compression mould design / moulding techniques and component design. Ram extrusion and moulding technologies explained.

- Plastic Material Additives, inc, thermal stabilizers, UV stabilizers, lubricants, plasticizers, colourants (eg, liquid, universal and polymer specific variants), nature, properties and use applications.

- Reinforcements, inc, glass fibre (long and short variants), fibre matrix theory, Kevlar, carbon fibres, nature / effect, properties of composites, use applications, etc.

- Fillers, inc, Talc, Calcium Carbonate and Graphite, explanation of nature, property modification and application uses. 

- Construction of a polymer product material requirement specification, inc, explanation of thermal use ranges, chemical use environment, appraisal of key mechanical property requirements (eg, tensile, compression, rigidity, impact strength, etc).


Construction and Use of a Plastic Material Selection Matrix.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
60 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
40 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Written Report Case Study Report Continuous Assessment Written Report 60 % End of Year 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 40 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Online Online lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Michael F. Ashby, Materials Selection in Mechanical Design (3rd Ed.)


M.F. Ashby, Materials Selection in Mechanical Design, 4th Edition, Elsevier, San Francisco, 2011; ISBN 978-1-85617-663-7.


Cambridge Engineering Selector (CES EduPack), Granta Design Limited,


Cambridge, UK, 2010,


Cases studies provided by the instructor


W.D. Callister, Materials Science for Engineering: An Introduction, 7th Edition, Wiley, 2007. ISB 978-0-471-73696-7.

Other Resources

Plastic material downloads (as directed), to include:

GE Plastics, DuPont, RTP, IDES, Bayer Polyurethanes, Solvay LaPorte, Victrex, Ticona, DSM, Amoco, Sabic, EMS, Elf Atochem, Gabriel Chemie, etc.